Award-winning journalist Javier Valdez killed in Mexico

Javier Valdez, an award-winning reporter who specialised in covering drug trafficking and organised crime, was murdered in the northern Mexico state of Sinaloa, the latest in a wave of journalist killings in one of the world's most risky countries for media workers.

Journalist Javier Valdez was shot and killed when an unknown number of assailants opened fire on his vehicle, according to the website of online media outlet RioDoce, which he helped found and where he continued to work.

The official was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

He was killed when unidentified attackers opened fire on his vehicle in the city of Culiacan where Valdez was working, the RioDoce website reports. He reported for the Mexican newspaper La Jornada (Spanish.) He was also a valuable source for worldwide reporters trying to piece together the debacle that is Mexico today.

In 2011, the CPJ gave Valdez an International Press Freedom Award for his coverage of the victims of the drug war. "The gunmen, who the paper say appeared to be drugged, roughed up some of the reporters then stole their cameras, cellphones, and other personal effects".

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and the US ambassador to Mexico condemned Valdez's killing. He was also the author of various books that dealt with the topic of drugtrafficking like "Huerfanos del Narco" (Narco Orphans), "Miss Narco", "Los Morros del Narco" and "Narcoperiodismo", where he talked about the danger of journalists that denounced criminals. The latter chronicled the lives of young people swept up in Mexico's underworld. "I don't want to be asked, 'What were you doing in the face of so much death. why didn't you say what was going on?'"

"It is part of the investigation we will be carrying out", he told the press after arriving at the scene of the crime.


"Javier's murder is an attack on independent journalism not just in Sinaloa, but in Mexico as a whole", said CPJ's Mexico representative Jan-Albert Hootsen.

Mexico is one of the most risky places to be a journalist, with the vast majority of attacks on the media unpunished.

"Being a journalist is like being on a black list", Valdez said at a launch of his last book about drug gangs.

At the time, the CPJ said 38 journalists have been killed in Mexico since 1992. Ricardo Sanchez Perez del Pozo, a lawyer with a background in worldwide law and human rights, took over the post.

"The reporters were in the region covering a security operation".

"The system seems to be corrupt down to its very foundation; either that or it's simply incapable of achieving justice".

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